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Day 17: A.D. Koboah

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A.D. Koboah spent the first few years of her life in Ghana before moving to London, where she has lived ever since. She completed an English Literature degree in 2000, and although she has always written in her spare time, she didn’t start writing full-time until a few years ago.

Her debut novel, Dark Genesis, was inspired by her thoughts on dehumanization, specifically, the ways in which people are able to dehumanize others, the impact it has on the psyche, and if it’s possible for people to find their way back.

Dark Genesis is A Southern Gothic tale, beginning in present-day and moving quickly to the slave plantations of Mississippi. Luna, pregnant with her abusive master’s child, is taken by a tormented creature while on her way back to the plantation, and likely yet another unwanted pregnancy. Sure she won’t survive the night, she is offered the chance to rebuild the life and humanity taken from her.

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Dark Genesis, the first book in The Darkling Trilogy is free to download. Find out more about A.D. on her website and follow her on Twitter.

 

 

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Day 16: Sumiko Saulson

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Sumiko Saulson is a novelist, poet, and artist from Los Angeles, California now living in Oakland, California, who by age 19, had two self-published books of poetry. She is the Oakland Art Scene reporter for the Examiner.com and also a lead vocalist in the alternative rock/crossover band, Stagefright, that combines gothic and alt rock influences with reggae.

Saulson has penned several novels– Solitude (2011), Warmth (2012), Happiness and Other Diseases (2014), Somnalia (2015), and Insatiable (2015). Many of her short stories have been published online or with presses large and small, including Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From the Lake Volume Three. In 2016, she won the Horror University’s Scholarship from Hell, given by the Horror Writer’s Association.

She has also compiled a non-fiction book collection of author biographies and interviews called 60 Black Women in Horror (2014), which she is currently in the process of updating the book to add at least another twenty writers.

Her short story anthology Things That Go Bump In My Head (2012), has something for just about any horror lover–a few old-fashioned scares, a ghost story, and dark humor. You can also find her work in the Colors in Darkness anthology of horror featuring characters of color, Forever Vacancy.

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Learn more about Sumiko on her website and follow her on Twitter.

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Day 15: Vicy Cross

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Vicy Cross resides in Texas. Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she writes speculative fiction, Gothic horror, unusual historical fantasies, and all things strange. Despite the dark, gritty imagery in her books, she practices a non-violent lifestyle and is vegetarian.

Her debut dystopian novel, Tuesday Apocalypse, is a first-person narrative told in epistolary format.  Epistolary novels are written exclusively through the use of letters or journals by one or more characters, and are examples of the classic Gothic style used by Stoker in Dracula and by Shelley in Frankenstein. More modern examples are Walker’s The Color Purple and King’s horror classic Carrie.  As the style has fallen out of favor, Cross’ unconventional manuscript was rejected by at least one publisher for the narrative structure alone.

In Tuesday Apocalypse, Cross’ experience as an erotica writer is evident.She is able to blend sex and horror into a tale that chronicles a unique battle between good and evil, between faith and the flesh. In war-ravaged 1940’s Britain, Sister Barbara fights not only against a tentacled monster, but against her own burgeoning sexual desire–for first a man, then for a woman– which tears at the core of her deeply held beliefs.

Barbara’s mounting fear is palpable as she strives to find out what is turning the patients and staff at the hospital into monsters, and whether she should succumb to temptation and join them.

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Find Tuesday Apocalyse on Amazon and follow Vicy on Twitter.

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Day 14: Jewell Parker Rhodes

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Jewell Parker Rhodes, born February 12, 1954 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an American novelist and educator. While she is best known for her middle grade novels, including Ninth Ward, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor Award, Rhodes has published six novels for adults, including American Book Award winner Douglass’ Women and the Marie Laveau trilogy.

Ever the educator, she is also the author of two instructional guides for black writers: Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons For Black Authors  and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Nonfiction. Each is comprehensive and energizing, chock full of excerpts and advice from over 30 black writers. Fiction Lessons is a nurturing book for affirming, bearing witness, leaving a legacy, and celebrating the remarkable journey of the self.

In The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Nonfiction, Rhodes talks about the cultural heritage that African Americans can trace back hundreds of years to the West African storytellers-musicians-historians called griots. She encourages us to be modern-day griots, acquainting ourselves with the work of earlier writers and committing our own lives and the lives of others to paper.

Her Marie Laveau trilogy begins with Voodoo Season –earlier versions are titled Season–and tells the story of Marie Levant, a great-great granddaughter of Marie Laveau, a medical doctor compelled by unseen forces to relocate to New Orleans. The city’s slave-holding past merges with the present, to reveal that women of color are still being abused, raped, and turned into undead zombie-like Sleeping Beauties in a horrifying revival of the Quadroon Balls. Only Marie can untangle the medical mystery.

Her precise and engrossing style has created a work that celebrates Laveau’s legacy of spiritual empowerment, prophetic vision, and voodoo possession, allowing us “to appreciate truly the glory and wonder of being a woman; powerful; spiritual; in control of her life and body; valuing ancestors, family, and community.”

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Find out more about Jewell at her website and follow her on Twitter.

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Day 13: Kyoko M.

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Kyoko M is from Riverdale, Georgia and currently lives in Ocala, Florida. A recent graduate from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, she has written articles for toonaripost.com, and was a first round finalist for Amazon’s 2013 Breakthrough Novel Contest for her debut novel The Black Parade.

She has a passion for speculative fiction, namely urban fantasy, science fiction, high fantasy, supernatural, and paranormal works. Her influences include movies, comic books, anime, and various novel series.

Listen to her chat with other Black women in horror and dark fantasy (at the first annual State of Black Science Fiction Convention on episode five of The Outer Dark podcast, featured on the This is Horror website.

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The Black Parade, has been on Amazon’s Bestseller List at #5 in the Occult Horror category. It features a cranky, slightly alcoholic waitress who accidentally kills a Seer–a being who reaps souls– and has to take over the job. Trouble is, she only has two years to help 100 souls cross over to the afterlife or she’s going to Hell.

And that’s only book one of the three part series.

Find out more about Kyoko on her website and follow her on Twitter.

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Day 12: Kenya Moss-Dyme

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Kenya Moss-Dyme began writing short-form horror in her teens and won several scholastic writing awards for her creative tales, whose characters ranged from a grandmother with healing hands to a runaway seeking redemption from the other side.

For Moss-Dyme, short horror stories are a favorite to both read and write because “…you have to hit them hard and fast, and make the shivers last long after the story has ended.”

While she loves zombies and the supernatural, there’s nothing scarier to her than humans and capability of reaching the depths of depravity. These are the depths she explores in her work, and she doesn’t shy away from vivid description of violence, blood, or sex. This is especially evident in her Amazon best-selling dark romance series, A Good Wife. The third installment of the series, entitled A Good Wife: Post Coital, will be available on February 14th, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

She is also one of the founders of Colors in Darkness, a place where authors of color and authors who write characters of color to find support for their dark fiction projects.

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In her collection, The Mixtape, Moss-Dyme has compiled seven of her short stories that have previously appeared solely online in various publications or were available as free downloads. The catch is, it’s ONLY available in print through her website or at one of her live appearances.

Find out more about Kenya on her website and follow her on Twitter.

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Day 11: Crystal Connor

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Washington state native Crystal Connor loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, and rogue scientific experiments. In addition to writing, she also reviews horror and sci-fi films for Horror Addicts.
Connor, who “writes straight up horror with a service of science fiction and dark fantasy on the side,” uses her time spent serving in the United States Navy in her writing, piecing together monsters and nightmares from tales she learned of during her deployments at various ports-of-call throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Book One of her Spectrum Trilogy, The Darkness, featuring a battle between two powerful women over a child neither of them has birthed. Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, determined to erase what tradition has established as the boundaries separating the realm of man from the realm of God. Inanna, a dangerous witch, more deadly than any other in the long tradition before her.

But the Child, may prove to be stronger than either of them.

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Pick up Book One of the Spectrum Trilogy, The Darkness. Get more of Crystal on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.